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One good night of sleep may do less than once thought

Category: General Wellness

According to recent behavioral testing, people cannot reverse the poor functioning and thinking associated with sleep deprivation with only one good night of sleep.

Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital found that a long night's slumber made sleep deprived study participants function better in the short run, but the effects of long-term sleep loss still remained, according to News Day.

Participants in the study mimicked the sleep routine of a typical on-call resident physician for several weeks and found that, even after a 10-hour sleep, respondents' motor skills and ability to focus rapidly faded as the day went on.

"Chronic sleep loss from six hours of sleep per night for two weeks causes a similar level of impairment as staying awake for 24 hours," said the study's lead author Daniel Cohen.

"It's very hard to cheat the sleep system," adds David Dinges, a professor of sleep studies at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, quoted by the USA Today. "You will pay a price sooner or later."

Other studies have shown that almost 30 percent of Americans average less than six hours of sleep per night.

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